Tanya’s Struggle With Cricket


Tanya wanted to play cricket

Tanya was very close to her uncle and the two phoned each other regularly. She told him about how she loved the batting style of Mithali Raj. The two talked about Mithali, and Tanya guaranteed him that Mithali was going to break many cricket records. Somewhere along she also mentioned that she herself also wanted to play the game.  Suddenly, a courier brought her a junior cricket bat and a soft cricket ball.  Uncle had sent it for her.  It brought tears of joy in the eyes of the 10 year old Tanya when she found out.  She immediately phoned uncle to thank him for this gift.

Tanya enjoyed the night’s sleep dreaming she was now playing cricket in an international ODI in which she and Mithali were the starting batters. After waking up she was so excited about the dream and the reality that she had a bat and a ball to play the game.  At school she talked to a few friends.  She asked them to come to her home to play.

Playing cricket in the yard

She asked Bhagi (her mother) if they could play in the back of the house.   They used a small box instead of the wickets.  Tinku, Peter, Manal and three other friends came and they played. One of them stood about 8 meters away from the box used as the wickets, and threw the ball. One batter defended the wickets by hitting the ball.  The batter was out when the ball hit the wickets directly or when someone caught the hit  ball in the air.  This went on for a few days.  All of them seemed to enjoy but suddenly the boys did not show up.  Kate said that the boys now played in a junior boy’s league team nearby.

Tanya was upset and asked her mother if  there was a girls’ team or if girls could also play in the junior boys’ league team.  Tanya’s mom inquired but the answer was no.

Making a girls’ cricket team

Three days later Tanya’s grandpa got a call from one retired army officer named Major Roy.

Major Roy: My granddaughter wants to play cricket. I hear your Tanya wants to start a team. There is an army football field in the area. I talked to the officers in charge of the field. The army field is free for some of the periods during the week.  If the girls can organize their games during those hours, they can use the field.  They will need to use a mat for a pitch because the army does not want to modify the football field. I will text message you the available hours.

Tanya jumped with joy when she heard this news from grandpa.  Now, there were several issues to resolve.  First was to find enough girls to make a team.  Manal said that her friend GulBano also had a bat and six other girls came to her place to play.  She would talk to them.  After Tanya talked to other friends in her school, there were many others who said yes. The second issue was that they needed at least two adult ladies to supervise them.  For Bhagi this was a dream come true.  Ever since her marriage, she missed the sports part of her life of the college days.  She was ready to coach. Manal’s mother became the Assistant Coach.  Several parents chipped in to buy the wickets and the mat.

This was the start of the junior girls’ cricket team in this small conservative town.  It consisted of 15 girls aged 10 to 13, and the two coaches.  Frequently, other mothers also helped.  The coach set up the rule that all girls would play – that means bat, bowl and field.  She showed them how to bowl and to bat.  Frequently she showed them videos of Mithali Raj batting so that they could learn how to bat, and those of the top woman bowler Jhulan Goswami to learn how to bowl.  The videos were fine but nothing replaces practice. They had drills for throwing the ball and catching it to improve their fielding skills. The girls played the game.  It was fun.

Out of town tournament

The girls loved playing cricket but they wished that there was another team to play against.  Boys did not have this problem because there were two junior boys’ teams in the city.  The girls’ prayers were answered when Bhagi got a phone call from one of her friends in the town of Patole.  She knew of the situation and said that one of the girls’ team in Patole wanted to host them for a 15 over ODI.  In their format, the first two bowlers could bowl up to 3 overs each, and after that a player could bowl only one or two overs each.  As a coach, Bhagi accepted. A date, time and venue were decided.  The girls are thrilled.  They would get to compete against Patole. That would mean a road trip of about 45 minutes and a picnic like atmosphere.  They also loved that girls were going to play out of town before the boys did.

On the day of the game, four ladies accompanied the girls. They took them to the game in their cars.  Tinku and Peter heard about it. They wanted to watch and talked to their coach. Their whole team went to Patole to watch. Tanya’s team won the toss and decided to field. Jitu bowled the first three overs, gave 8 runs and got three wickets. Tanya got the next chance to bowl and got two more wickets for 10 runs in two overs.  Manal and then other girls bowled 8 more overs and the whole Patole team was out with a total score of 31 runs.  That meant that Tanya’s team had to score 32 runs to win.

Bhagi sent Gulbano and  Manal to bat.  Gulbano was good. Before being out, she scored 12 runs which included two boundaries.  Manal had also scored 4 runs by that time. Then she sent Tanya to partner Manal.  Tanya  scored 8 runs before being out.  Manal proved to be a steady player although she had a total of only 7 runs by now. More girls came in one by one, and were out after very small numbers of runs.  By the end of the tenth over, Manal had a total of 10 runs and the other girls had added 2 more.  This brought their team total to 32 runs thatled to a win with 1 run and 3 wickets remaining.  So the batters with the most runs were Gulbano 12, Tanya 8 and Manal 10 (not out). After the game, the girls from the two teams together enjoyed the refreshments their parents had  brought.  It was like a picnic where they made new friends.

The day after the Patole trip, Tinku came over to Tanya’s place.  He had all the scores written down from this match – he was  good at that.

Line graph

Bhagi:  Tinku, you can do all your arguing about other stats and player of the match later.  First, I want you and Tanya to draw a graph.

Tinku:  A bar graph of the runs versus batters?

Bhagi: No, this will be a little different.  It will be line graph. Today, on the horizontal axis you will write the overs: 1, 2, 3 and so on all the way to 10 because our team batted for only 10 overs.  On the vertical axis write the run total for our team.  Put a dot on each over showing the run total.

Tanya and Tinku did what they have been told and then show it to Bhagi.  She told them to draw a line connecting the dots.  This was a line graph which is different from the bar graph they did before (see picture of Line Graph of Runs Scored).

Line Graph of Runs Scored

Tanya:  This graph is neat.

Tinku: Yes, it also shows me how the run rate changed from over to over.

Tanya:  Yes, the run rate was very high when Gulbano or I batted but then it became slow.  On the other hand, I appreciate that Manal had a steady game.  Remember, she was not out until the end.

Tinku;  This is way better than just looking at the average run rate.  I like the overall picture  this line graph gives.  Thanks for the idea, aunty.

The girls’ team was now allowed to play against the boys for the remainder of the year.  Also, next year they made  three junior cricket teams in this conservative town – two for boys and one for girls.  Tanya played cricket until she was 13 but then her sports interest changed to basketball.


Your class of 24 students was rated the best in the school and decided to form a human chain to celebrate it. You decided that the first student would stand to the front wall of the class room only 60 centimeters away from it. The second student would stand 60 centimeters away from the first student, the third student would be 60 centimeters away from the second and so on.  What would be the distance of each student from the front wall?  Show this distance by drawing a line graph.

            Solution: First determine the distance of each student from the wall.  It is better to do this in mete$  Distance from the wall in meters = 0.6 x student number from the wall.

Then draw the graph with the student number on the horizontal axis and the distance in the vertical axis.

Human Chain Line Graph

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